Airbnb agrees to collect 14% hotel tax in San Francisco, as New York negotiations drag on

Gigaom

Airbnb insists it’s not in the hotel business, but that won’t stop it from collecting hotel tax. In a ground-breaking announcement, the company on Monday declared it will begin collecting taxes on behalf of its hosts in San Francisco and Portland.

The new policy could help Airbnb make peace with city officials, many of whom are hostile to its “sharing economy” business model. The tax policy will also let Airbnb’s network of hosts, who rent out their homes for short periods of time, gain firm legal footing.

Airbnb announced its tax plans in a company blog post, stating that it didn’t agree with the tax laws, but that “we want to help our hosts follow the rules. It’s good for the government officials who won’t have to identify hosts and collect the taxes themselves: we’ll do the work for them.”

Airbnb says it’s working on operational details but, in practice, the news means Airbnb is poised to begin collecting San Francisco’s 14% hotel tax this summer. The…

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